Beyond the Resume: Essential Soft Skills to Seek in Your Next Hires

Looking beyond candidates’ resumes helps you hire and retain the best talent. Knowing the essential soft skills to seek in your next hires helps you find the best employees.

Soft skills are the qualities, attitudes, and behaviors that contribute to interactions and relationships. These skills help build trust, respect, and team-building. They also support camaraderie, cohesion, and collaboration.

Understanding which essential soft skills to seek in your next hires helps guide your hiring decisions. The following are soft skills to look for in candidates.

Learn which essential soft skills you should seek in your next hires.


Because change is part of every organization, you need employees who can quickly adapt. You can use the following methods to gauge a candidate’s adaptability during an interview:

  • Request examples of how the candidate adapted to technological advancements, organizational changes, and unexpected events with previous organizations.
  • Ask whether the candidate ever had to quickly adjust to a new way of working or thinking, such as with circumstances, budget, or team members.
  • Uncover how quickly the candidate embraces and adapts to change.
  • Look for signs of flexibility and the ability to pivot when needed quickly.

Communication Skills

Virtually all jobs require effective communication. You can use the following methods to evaluate a candidate’s communication skills during an interview:

  • Determine how well the candidate builds rapport with you.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal communication.
  • Look for signs of active listening.
  • Focus on the level of tact displayed.
  • Request examples of times the candidate had to persuade someone to go in a different direction.

Problem-Solving Skills

Every company experiences problems that must be solved. You can use the following methods to evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving skills:

  • Ask whether the candidate considers the big picture when solving problems.
  • Discuss examples of how the candidate delivered efficient, effective solutions for previous employers.
  • Determine whether the candidate displays creative, resourceful, logical reasoning.
  • Focus on the candidate’s critical thinking abilities.

Leadership Skills

You want as many employees as possible to advance to senior roles. You can use the following methods to determine a candidate’s leadership skills:

  • Request examples of times when the candidate led a project.
  • Discuss times when the candidate used communication, conflict management, coaching, or mentoring to benefit others.
  • Determine whether the candidate can direct, motivate, and support others.

Are You Looking for Help with Hiring in WI?

Connectology can help you find candidates with the soft and hard skills needed to fill your open roles. Contact us to start the process today.